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How to Fix the 'Not Secure' Warning on Your Website

Website security is of paramount importance. With cyber threats becoming more prevalent, ensuring that your website is secure is crucial for maintaining the trust of your visitors and protecting their sensitive data. One common issue that website owners often encounter is the dreaded "Not Secure" warning. This warning is displayed by web browsers to inform users that the connection to the website is not encrypted, potentially putting their personal information at risk.

In this article, we will:

  1. Explore what the "Not Secure" warning means
  2. Why it is displayed, and most importantly
  3. How you can fix it to ensure the security of your website

What Is the "Not Secure" Warning?

Before we dive into the solutions, it's important to understand what the "Not Secure" warning actually means. This warning is displayed by web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge when a website does not have a valid SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that encrypts the connection between the user's browser and the website, ensuring that any data transmitted between them is secure.

When a user sees the "Not Secure" warning, it means that the website they are visiting does not have an SSL certificate installed. This indicates that any data exchanged between the user's browser and the website can be intercepted or tampered with by malicious actors.

But what does it really mean for a website to be "not secure"? Well, imagine you're browsing the internet and you stumble upon a website that catches your interest. You click on the link and eagerly await the page to load. However, instead of the usual padlock icon or the reassuring "https://" in the URL, you are greeted with a stark warning that says "Not Secure." 

Your heart skips a beat as you wonder what this means for your safety and privacy.

This warning is not to be taken lightly. It is a red flag, a signal that the website you are about to interact with is lacking a crucial layer of protection. Without an SSL certificate, the connection between your browser and the website is left vulnerable, like an open door inviting intruders into your personal space.

So why is the "Not Secure" warning displayed in the first place? The answer is simple: to protect the user. Web browsers display this warning to alert of the potential risks associated with interacting with an insecure website. They want to ensure that you are aware of the potential dangers that lie ahead and make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed.

Without encryption, any information you enter on an insecure website, such as passwords, credit card details, or personal information, can be easily intercepted by hackers. They can then use this information for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or financial fraud. The consequences can be devastating, leading to financial loss, reputational damage, and even emotional distress.

The "Not Secure" warning serves as a reminder that the internet is not always a safe place. It highlights the importance of taking precautions and being vigilant when browsing the web. By educating yourself about online security and being aware of the potential risks, you can better protect yourself and your sensitive information.

So, the next time you encounter the "Not Secure" warning, take a moment to consider the implications. Is it worth the risk? Is the website you are visiting trustworthy enough to proceed without encryption? These are questions that only you can answer, but remember, your online safety should always be a top priority.

The Importance of Website Security

Website security goes beyond just avoiding the "Not Secure" warning. It is crucial for protecting your user's personal information, building trust with your visitors, and ensuring the overall integrity of your website. Let's explore two key reasons why website security should be a top priority for every website owner.

Protecting User Data

With the increasing amount of personal information shared online, users expect websites to handle their data with care. By securing your website with an SSL certificate, you can encrypt sensitive data and protect it from unauthorized access. This ensures that your users can trust your website with their personal information, leading to a positive user experience and a stronger relationship between you and your visitors.

Furthermore, implementing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication) and regular security audits can further enhance the protection of user data. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to their mobile device, in addition to their password. 

Regular security audits, conducted by professionals, can identify vulnerabilities in your website's code and infrastructure, allowing you to address them before they are exploited by malicious actors.

Additionally, educating your users about the security measures you have in place can also contribute to protecting their data. By providing clear and concise information about your website's security practices, you can empower your users to make informed decisions about sharing their personal information.

 A person working via a secure website 

Building Trust with Your Visitors

A "Not Secure" warning can have a negative impact on the trustworthiness of your website. Visitors may perceive an insecure website as untrustworthy and may hesitate to input their personal information or conduct transactions. By displaying a valid SSL certificate, you can instill confidence in your visitors, reassuring them that their connection is secure and their information is safe from prying eyes.

Building trust goes beyond just having an SSL certificate. It also involves maintaining a secure website infrastructure, regularly updating your software and plugins, and promptly addressing any security vulnerabilities that may arise. By demonstrating a commitment to website security, you can establish your website as a trustworthy and reliable source of information or services.

Implementing trust signals such as security badges, customer reviews, and privacy policies can also contribute to building trust with your visitors. Security badges from reputable security providers can serve as visual indicators of your website's security measures, while positive customer reviews can provide social proof of your website's trustworthiness. A clear and comprehensive privacy policy can also assure visitors that their personal information will be handled responsibly and in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Website security is of utmost importance for protecting user data and building trust with your visitors. By implementing robust security measures, educating your users, and demonstrating a commitment to website security, you can create a safe and trustworthy online environment for both you and your visitors.

Steps to Resolve the "Not Secure" Warning

Now that we understand the significance of the "Not Secure" warning, let's explore the steps to resolve it and ensure the security of your website.

Ensuring the security of your website is of utmost importance. With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, it is crucial to take the necessary measures to protect your website and the sensitive information of your users. Let's dive deeper into the steps you can take to resolve the "Not Secure" warning.

Checking Your SSL Certificate

The first step is to verify if your website already has an SSL certificate. You can do this by checking the URL in your browser's address bar. If the URL starts with 'https://' instead of 'http://', then your website is already encrypted, and you have an SSL certificate installed. This means that the communication between your website and your users is secure, and any data exchanged is encrypted.

Having an SSL certificate not only ensures the security of your website but also adds credibility and trustworthiness to your online presence. Users are more likely to engage with a website that displays the padlock symbol and the 'https://' prefix, as it indicates that their information is being transmitted securely.

However, if your website does not have an SSL certificate, it is essential to take immediate action to protect your users' data and prevent potential security breaches.

Configuring Your Website to Use HTTPS

If your website does not have an SSL certificate, you will need to obtain one and configure your website to use HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure). HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP and ensures that the connection between the user's browser and the website is encrypted.

Obtaining an SSL certificate is a straightforward process. You can acquire one from a trusted certificate authority or through your web hosting provider. It is crucial to choose a reputable certificate authority to ensure the authenticity and reliability of your SSL certificate.

Once you have obtained the SSL certificate, you need to configure your website to use HTTPS. This involves making changes to your website's server settings to enable the secure connection. The exact steps may vary depending on your web hosting provider and the server software you are using.

Configuring your website to use HTTPS not only enhances security but also improves your website's search engine rankings. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that use HTTPS, as it provides a safer browsing experience for users.

Updating Your Website Links to HTTPS

After obtaining and configuring your SSL certificate, you need to update all the links on your website to use HTTPS instead of HTTP. This includes internal links, external links, and any embedded content such as images or videos.

Updating the links on your website is crucial to ensure a seamless and secure browsing experience for your users. Failure to update these links may result in mixed content warnings, where some elements on your website are loaded over an insecure connection, potentially compromising the security of your website.

Updating the links can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a large website with numerous pages. However, it is a necessary step to eliminate any potential security risks and provide a secure environment for your users.

Resolving the "Not Secure" warning requires checking your SSL certificate, configuring your website to use HTTPS, and updating all the links on your website. By taking these steps, you can ensure the security of your website and build trust with your users. Remember, prioritizing website security is an ongoing process, and it is essential to stay updated with the latest security practices to protect your online presence effectively.

Troubleshooting Persistent "Not Secure" Warnings

While following the steps outlined above should resolve the "Not Secure" warning for most websites, there may be cases where the warning persists. Let's explore some common issues and solutions to troubleshoot persistent "Not Secure" warnings.

Identifying Common Issues

Sometimes, the "Not Secure" warning may still appear due to specific configuration issues or outdated server settings. By conducting a thorough analysis of your website's configuration, you can identify and rectify any underlying issues. This may involve updating server settings, fixing mixed content issues, or resolving insecure script warnings.

Seeking Professional Help

If you have followed all the steps and are still unable to resolve the "Not Secure" warning, it may be beneficial to seek professional assistance. Engaging the services of a web developer or security expert can help identify and address any complex security issues that you may not be able to resolve on your own. Additionally, professionals can ensure that your website's security measures are up to date and aligned with the latest best practices.

Maintaining Website Security

Fixing the "Not Secure" warning is just the first step in ensuring the security of your website. Regular maintenance and proactive measures are necessary to protect your website from evolving threats. Let's explore two key steps you can take to maintain website security.

Regularly Updating Your SSL Certificate

SSL certificates have an expiration date and need to be renewed regularly. Failing to renew your SSL certificate can lead to the "Not Secure" warning reappearing on your website. Make sure to set reminders to renew your SSL certificate before it expires to ensure uninterrupted security.

Staying Informed About Security Updates and Best Practices

The field of website security is constantly evolving. It is crucial to stay informed about the latest security updates and best practices to protect your website from emerging threats. Subscribe to security newsletters, follow reputable security blogs, and regularly update your website's security plugins or tools to stay one step ahead of potential vulnerabilities.

A person having a cup of coffee while working


Addressing the "Not Secure" warning on your website is essential for maintaining the integrity of your website and protecting the trust of your visitors. By understanding what the warning means, prioritizing website security, following the steps outlined, and adopting proactive security measures, you can ensure a secure browsing experience for your users and build a strong online presence for your website.

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Duane “DJ” Sprague is a conversion rate expert, a Certified Behavioral Design Coach by the Online Influence Institute, and a certified expert by the Behavioral Design Academy, the Mindworx Academy, and the Interaction Design Institute. As CMO of a billion-dollar national franchise, he leveraged the power of social proof and online reviews to improve SEO and accelerate growth, as he developed and managed a comprehensive online reputation management strategy that spanned nearly 200 websites. He has written for Forbes, Small Biz Daily, and several industry trade magazines, contributed to several books and university course packs, and is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as a subject matter expert. He holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication and has received the 1st Place Gold Award in a global integrated marketing competition. Duane is the CMO of Shopper Approved, where he works with thousands of ecommerce websites to improve their SEO and CRO.

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